06-15-2006, 05:09 PM
<TABLE WIDTH="90%" CELLSPACING=0 CELLPADDING=0 ALIGN=CENTER><TR><TD><i>Quote »</i></TD></TR><TR><TD CLASS="quote"><B>AutoPacific Announces 2006 Ideal Vehicle Awards <p><br> Hyundai Top Brand, Mercury Montego Top Vehicle, Honda Odyssey Top Truck</B><p> TUSTIN, Calif., June 14 /PRNewswire/ -- An "ideal" is defined as an<br>excellent or perfect example. In the first Ideal Vehicle Awards, announced<br>today by automotive research and consulting firm AutoPacific, owners rate<br>their new 2006 model year cars and trucks by how closely they come to their<br>ideal. The cars or trucks that owners would change the least are the most<br>ideal.<br> Those carmakers that best understand their customers and create the<br>vehicle their core buyer group desires have come closest to the ideal.<br> The top-rated vehicle and top-rated car is the Mercury Montego in the<br>Large Car/Luxury Car category. In fact, Ford Motor Company sweeps the first<br>three positions overall with the Ford Crown Victoria and Ford Five Hundred<br>in second and third place. The top-rated truck is the Honda Odyssey<br>Minivan.<br> The top-rated brand overall is Hyundai out-pointing Mercury and Lincoln<br>for the most ideal vehicle honors.<br> Ford Motor Company and American Honda have three segment winners<br>apiece. BMW and Hyundai have two each.<br> Of the sixteen Ideal Vehicle Award (IVA) categories, Japanese brands<br>have seven segment winners, American brands have four, European brands have<br>three and Korean brands have two winners.<br> The top-rated product segment is Large Car/Luxury Car confirming that<br>Americans continue to value large, comfortable cars suitable for suburban<br>and highway cruising.<br> Top-rated 2006 Ideal Vehicle brand: Hyundai<br> Top-rated 2006 Ideal Product Segment: Large Car/Luxury Car<p> Top rated 2006 Ideal Vehicles by segment:<p> PASSENGER CARS:<br> Premium Luxury Car Lexus LS<br> Entry Luxury Car BMW 3-Series<br> Large Car/Luxury Car Mercury Montego<br> Premium Mid-Size Car Hyundai Sonata<br> Mid-Size Car Mercury Milan<br> Image Compact Car Toyota Prius<br> Compact Car Ford Focus<br> Sports Car Porsche 911<br> Sporty Car Acura RSX<p> SUT, SUV, and MINIVAN:<br> Sport Utility Truck Honda Ridgeline<br> Luxury Sport Utility BMW X-5<br> Large Sport Utility GMC Yukon<br> Premium Mid-Size Sport Utility Nissan Murano<br> Mid-Size Sport Utility Hyundai Santa Fe<br> Compact Sport Utility Subaru Forester<br> Minivan Honda Odyssey<br> In addition to identifying segment winners, IVA also establishes<br>numerical ideal vehicle ratings for virtually every passenger car and light<br>truck (except pickups) in the United States market. This results from<br>calculating owner input across 11 specific areas related to a vehicle's<br>exterior size, passenger roominess, cargo space, driver's seat comfort,<br>drivers seat visibility, interior technology, power, ease of getting in and<br>out, interior storage compartments and tires and wheels. The 2006 ratings<br>reflect input from buyers and lessees of new vehicles acquired September<br>2005 through January 2006. Pickup trucks are not incorporated because of<br>numerous body styles included within each pickup line.<br> AutoPacific is a future-oriented automotive marketing and<br>product-consulting firm. Every year it publishes a wide variety of<br>syndicated studies for the automotive industry. The firm also conducts<br>extensive proprietary research and consulting for auto manufacturers,<br>distributors, marketers and suppliers worldwide. Company headquarters and<br>its state-of-the-art automotive research facility are in Tustin,<br>California, with an affiliate office in the Detroit area.</TD></TR></TABLE><p>Official Site: <A HREF="http://www.autopacific.com/index/news-app/story.357/title.2006-ideal-vehicle-awards/menu./sec.AutoPacific%20News/home" TARGET="_blank">http://www.autopacific.com/ind.../home</A>.